Velocity #2 of 4
Written by Ron Marz
Art and cover by Kenneth Rocafort
5-page preview at CBR.
It’s been a while since the first issue of this miniseries, but the second issue jumps straight into the action as if no time had passed. The members of Cyberforce have all been infected with a virus that will kill them within an hour, and Velocity is the only one fast enough to save them. Of course, she’s been infected too — it’s only her super-speed metabolism keeping her conscious. The clock is ticking. Literally. Every page shows a countdown timer, starting at 58:07 and finishing at…well, why spoil the surprise?
Like the first issue, this continues to be extremely accessible. I’m a Top Cow neophyte, and had no problems following the book even as it twisted through other parts of the Top Cow universe. I was mildly confused when the Hunter/Killer organization showed up, but the heroine’s inner monologue covered the basics in a couple of short narration boxes a page or two later, and a text page in the back describes it in more detail.
Kenneth Rocafort’s art continues to be a major draw, both in the stylized art itself, and in the creative panel layouts. Two double-page splashes manage to show off completely different ways of showing super-speed. The first (shown below), features a staccato 4×4 grid across each page overlaid with a giant close-up of one moment in a fight. The other is a great example of the classic wide shot of a room with multiple images of a speedster doing different activities all across the panel.
Don’t miss an artistic in-joke: one scene takes place out in the deserts of the American Southwest. There’s a bird visible in the foreground: a roadrunner.
The series’ main villain, Dr. Erasmus Paine, barely appears at all in this issue. He shows up briefly at the beginning to remind us of who set this plan in motion, then moves offstage for the main conflict: Velocity vs. Hunter/Killer. Sure, they’re supposed to be on the same side, but Cyberforce and Hunter/Killer don’t exactly trust each other…and Heatwave was attacked by a robot who looked exactly like Velocity. It’s hard to fault them, though the bad blood between the two groups practically drips through every panel.
In addition to running and fighting, this issue also demonstrates another good use of super-speed…and Velocity’s origin & secondary powers (if you call the ability to let a computer take over your nervous system a power)…and make it a character moment. She still has a chip in her head that Cyberdata wanted to use to control her. She volunteers to let Hunter/Killer plug her into their network so that while Interface does the thinking, Velocity carries out the work of actually synthesizing the cure at super-speed…even though Carin hates giving up control.
The whole issue really demonstrates Velocity’s growth as a character. It’s true that I’ve read very little in the way of Top Cow comics (I can’t recall reading even a single issue of Cyberforce), but I have read the 1995 Velocity miniseries written by Kurt Busiek. In this issue, the heroine:
- Decides to rescue someone other than her sister first, because his colleagues have a better chance of finding a cure.
- Volunteers immediately to let herself be hooked up as a puppet, even though she can’t stand it.
- Refuses to accept the cure for herself until she can deliver it to her remaining teammates, since she knows that if she takes it now, she’ll be out of commission until after they die.
From what I’ve read, the younger Velocity would have made the same choices, but agonized over them and second-guessed herself the whole time.
Overall: Recommended for speedster junkies, no matter what universe you typically read.
Velocity #2 (of 4) arrives in stories September 22.
(A PDF copy was made available for advance-review purposes.)